New Health Insurance Law to be implemented in Egypt soon
The Ministry of Health will establish new bodies under the new health law; a health care authority will be responsible for the health services provided to citizens, a directory will be concerned with the collection of subscriptions from citizens in order to finance the system, and there will also be a quality and validation authority to accredit the qualified hospitals and health units.
According to the new health insurance law, Article 52 specifies that the bodies established under this law shall have an independent budget and shall begin their financial year at the beginning of the fiscal year of the state and shall end by the end of each year.
An electronic file for every Family
According to the plan, there will be an electronic file for every family, including a sub file for every member. A specific doctor and health unit will be responsible for every family.
The file will include the patient’s medical history, his or her visits to the doctor, the medicine he or she is using, surgeries he or she underwent and all other details.
Each doctor will be responsible for 20,000 patients from the same geographical area.
Three levels for the health care service
There will be three levels for the health care service provided to citizens. The first level is the health units, the second level is the ordinary hospitals, and the third level is the hospitals specialized in heart diseases and tumors, according to the plan.
Eight services will be provided through the health units, the family’s doctor, dentistry, pharmacy, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency, laboratory and radiology.
The family’s doctor will first receive the patient and then will provide the needed care through the health unit, or send him or her to the second level if his case requires more specialized care. The second level is then responsible to send the urgent cases to the third level.
The Minister of Health stated that the Ministry of Social Solidarity is committed to paying the value of the health insurance for unemployed persons eligible for unemployment compensation in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security regulations. The ministry is also committed to collecting contributions from health insurance due from different parties.
According to Ayman Abul-Ela, deputy of the Health Committee in the House of Representatives, implementing the plan requires developing first aid, focusing on maternity and childhood services, establishing the three bodies mentioned in the new law to manage the health system, including the General Authority for Health Insurance, which will finance the system, General Authority for Healthcare, and the General Authority for Accreditation and Supervision, which will determine hospitals and medical units eligible to join the system, in addition to activating the system that will electronically provide all the services of the health insurance system.
Port Said will be the first governorate to have the new system
Port Said will be one of the first governorates in which the new health insurance system will be applied, starting from 2018 gradually until 2032, according to the former Minister of Health Ahmed Emad.
About 800,000 citizens will benefit from this new system in Port Said, and they will need 40 health units, according to the Ministry of Health’s plan to implement the new insurance system.
Citizens of Port Said are expected to receive their new health insurance cards in the upcoming days. An online website will guide the citizens through the procedures required in order to receive their cards.
In the same context, Deputy Chairman of the Health Committee Mustafa Abu Zaid said that Port Said was chosen as it is less populated and has a qualified infrastructure, explaining that Gharbia governorate poses a great challenge to implementing the law as its health institutions need full rehabilitation.
CAIRO-15 July 2018: Upon instructions of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to implement the first phase of the new Health Insurance Law, the Ministry of Health will declare on Sunday its plan before the Parliament to put it into effect.
The first phase of the new Health Insurance Law was launched on July 6, according to the presidency’s spokesperson Bassam Rady. In an official statement issued July 6, Rady said the first phase of the new law includes preliminary procedures for the full implementation of the law, including:
“The elimination of patient waiting lists for surgery and critical medical interventions within six months, providing the needed stocks of infant formula and vaccines, and finishing the comprehensive survey and treatment of Hepatitis C virus for Egyptian citizens.”
Last December, Egypt’s Parliament approved the new Health Insurance Law, raising a stormy debate between the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, which opposes the draft law, and parliamentarians. The law was criticized for imposing more burdens on the individual's income as the law raises monthly insurance fees.
After discussions that took over a month, former Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad Eddin announced on Dec. 19 the Parliament’s approval of all articles of the new Health Insurance Law.
Egypt's health system has been criticized for years for not meeting standards. The new health insurance law proposed in October 2017 is considered a new government bid to overcome the shortcomings of the old system that was deemed inadequate and insufficiently safeguarding patients' rights.
Lawmakers defended the new law as it would boost the quality of health services in public hospitals. The old law covered health services for governmental and seasonal workers, while the newly approved amendments guarantee the same medical services to all citizens.
Despite the expected positive impact of the new law, more burdens on citizens’ income are feared as the law raises monthly insurance fees. Given the difficult economic conditions, the law amendments "would place a large burden on low-income families," Dr. Mohamed Hassan Khalil, coordinator of an independent health organization, told Egypt Today.
CAIRO - 21 December 2017: The Egyptian Parliament finally approved the new national health insurance law, raising a stormy debate between the Egyptian Medical Syndicate opposing the draft law and parliamentarians. After fruitful discussion that took over a month, Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad Eddin announced on December 19 the approval of the Council of Representatives on all articles of the new comprehensive universal health insurance law.